The Senate on Tuesday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to approve bailout fund to tackle the challenges being faced by pensioners in the country.
The Senate said the fund will help clear Federal Government pension arrears amounting to about N174bn.
Senator Emmanuel Paulker who moved the motion titled ‘The Untold Hardship of Pensioners Occasioned by Federal Government’s Failure to Contribute Its Statutory Share of Five Per Cent to the Pension Redemption Fund’ said the Senate noted the hardship of retired senior citizens caused by nonpayment of their pension arrears since 2015.
Paulker said, “The Senate is concerned that pensioners under the Contributory Pension Scheme, who retired since 2015, have not been paid their pensions due to the failure of the Federal Government to contribute its statutory share of 5 per cent to the Pension Redemption Fund in line with the Pension Reform Act, 2004 amounting to a total sum of N285,946,669,881.
“It is aware that N50bn Naira was appropriated in 2016 to upset part of the pension arrears but only a paltry sum of N18bn was released.
“It is worried that the delay in payment of pension arrears has put pensioners across the country in a very precarious situations where they wallow in penury, sickness, hopelessness and regret for serving their fatherland diligently, only to be abandoned by the government upon retirement.”
He prayed the Senate to “urge leadership of the National Assembly to liaise with Mr. President to intervene in the current pension scheme financial challenges by providing a bailout fund to redeem all Federal Government pension indebtedness.”
The lawmakers unanimously agreed to the motion.